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Heat exchanger

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Title: Heat exchanger.
Abstract: A heat exchanger plate, where the plate is provided with a heat transfer surface having a corrugated pattern with a plurality of ridges and valleys, and where the heat exchanger plate is provided with a plurality of guiding sections, and where each guiding section has a first guiding surface and a second guiding surface, where the first and second guiding surfaces are perpendicular to each other. A heat exchanger having a plurality of heat exchanger plates is also disclosed. The advantage of this heat exchanger plate is that it allows for an improved alignment of the heat exchanger plates. ...


Browse recent Alfa Laval Corporate Ab patents - Lund, SE
Inventors: Fredrik Blomgren, Magnus Nilsson
USPTO Applicaton #: #20110240273 - Class: 165168 (USPTO) - 10/06/11 - Class 165 
Heat Exchange > Conduit Within, Or Conforming To, Panel Or Wall Structure

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110240273, Heat exchanger.

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TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a heat exchanger plate having improved guiding means that will improve the alignment of the heat exchanger plates in a heat exchanger. The invention further relates to a heat exchanger comprising a plurality of heat exchanger plates.

BACKGROUND ART

A conventional type of plate heat exchanger use heat transfer plates fitted with gaskets that seal off each channel from the next, and direct the fluids into alternate flow channels. This type of plate heat exchanger is used throughout industry as standard equipment for efficient heating, cooling, heat recovery, condensation and evaporation.

Such a plate heat exchanger consists of a series of thin corrugated heat exchanger plates fitted with gaskets. The plates are then compressed together between a frame plate and a pressure plate in order to create an arrangement of parallel flow channels. The two fluids flow in alternate channels which gives a large surface area over which the transfer of heat energy from one fluid to the other can take place. The channels are provided with different corrugated patterns designed to induce maximum turbulence in both the fluid flows in order to make heat transfer as efficient as possible. The two different fluids normally enter and leave at the top and bottom of the heat exchanger, respectively. This is known as the counter-current flow principle.

One advantage with heat exchangers having gaskets compared with brazed heat exchangers is that it is easy to assemble and separate the heat exchanger plates. This is of advantage e.g. when they need to be cleaned or when the capacity of the heat exchanger is to be adjusted. This is done by simply adding or removing heat exchanger plates when required.

In one type of plate heat exchangers, the heat exchanger comprises one type of plate, which is mounted with every other plate rotated 180 degrees to form two different channels for the fluids, one channel for the cooling medium and one channel for the product that is to be cooled. A sealing is provided between each plate. Such an arrangement is cost-effective and works for many applications. Each plate is provided with ridges and valleys in order to on one hand provide a mechanical stiffness and on the other hand to improve the heat transfer to the liquid. The plates will bear on each other where the patterns of the plates meet each other, which will improve the mechanical stiffness of the plate package. This is important especially when the fluids have different pressures. For this type of heat exchanger, the inlet and outlet opening regions must be adapted so that they work for both channels.

It is also important that the heat exchanger plates are aligned properly in relation to each other, both in the vertical as well as in the horizontal direction. This is especially important for heat exchangers having a high number of heat exchanger plates stacked together, since a small misalignment may multiply with the number of heat exchanger plates. Misaligned heat exchanger plates may result in leakage in a flow channel due to misalignment of the sealing gasket, or even to damage to the heat exchanger.

There are different ways to align the heat exchanger plates. One common way is to use guiding bars, normally at the upper and lower sides of the heat exchanger plates. Such a solution may not give a sufficiently high precision, such that other alignment means are also required. One common solution of obtaining an alignment of the heat exchanger plates is to provide a guiding surface at the corners of the heat exchanger plate.

The corner regions of heat exchanger plates are commonly rounded, i.e. provided with a radius. It is known to provide rounded guiding surfaces at the corners, having a radius with the same centre as the port openings. In this way, the upper edge of one plate bears on the lower edge of another plate when they are stacked. At the same time, the corner region must, apart from guiding the plates, also stabilise the gasket groove around the port opening. The guiding surfaces will thus be rather small, and may comprise only a few small surfaces where the stabilising nuts of one plate bear against the rear side of another plate. This solution may work for larger plates, where there is space enough for a rounded guiding surface. The angle of the rounded guiding surface is normally in the region of up to 70 to 85 degrees.

On smaller plates, there may not be room for such a solution. It may be that there is only room for a guiding surface having a smaller angle or the radius of the guiding surface may have to be rather small. Both these arrangements will deteriorate the possibility to align the plates in a proper way.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,967,227-A disclose a heat exchanger plate having a guiding collar. The guiding collar is concave, having a negative radius compared with the outer corner of the plate.

EP-0 450 822-A1 discloses a heat exchanger plate having a tapered collar included in the guiding bar recessions. The tapered collar, which may be of a somewhat triangular shape, is intended to align the heat exchanger plates.

JP-11287582-A discloses a heat exchanger plate having projecting guiding parts incorporated in the sealing gasket groove around the port openings.

These known solutions show different types of alignment aids that may work well in specific applications. They are however intended for larger heat exchanger plates, where there is space enough to incorporate such solutions. There is thus room for improved guiding means that are also intended for the use on smaller heat exchanger plates.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

An object of the invention is therefore to provide a heat exchanger plate having improved guiding means. A further object of the invention is to provide a heat exchanger in which the alignment of the heat exchanger plates is improved.

The solution to the problem according to the invention is described in the characterizing part of claim 1. Claims 2 to 8 contain advantageous embodiments of the heat exchanger plate. Claim 9 contain an advantageous heat exchanger.

With a heat exchanger plate, where the heat exchanger plate is provided with a heat transfer surface having a corrugated pattern with a plurality of ridges and valleys, and where the heat exchanger plate is provided with a plurality of guiding sections, the object of the invention is achieved in that each guiding section comprises a first guiding surface and a second guiding surface, where the first and second guiding surfaces are perpendicular to each other.

By this first embodiment of the heat exchanger plate, a heat exchanger plate is obtained which allows for an improved guiding of the heat exchanger plates in a heat exchanger. This allows the heat exchanger plates to be aligned in a more accurate way when assembling the heat exchanger. This will minimize the possibility of damage to the heat exchanger plates and the sealing gasket during the assembly, which may occur when the heat exchanger plates are misaligned during the tightening of the heat exchanger. This will in turn minimize the risk of leakage of the heat exchanger during use.

In an advantageous development of the inventive heat exchanger plate, the guiding sections are provided at the corners of the heat exchanger plate. This allows for a compact guiding means that will be possible to use also on smaller heat exchanger plates.

In an advantageous development of the inventive heat exchanger plate, the guiding section further comprises a third guiding surface and a fourth guiding surface, where the third and fourth guiding surfaces are also perpendicular to each other. The advantage of this is that the guiding of the heat exchanger plates can be improved further.

In an advantageous development of the inventive heat exchanger plate, the first and the third guiding surfaces, and the second and the fourth guiding surfaces are parallel to each other. The advantage of using perpendicular guiding surfaces is that the gap in the transverse direction and the longitudinal direction can be minimized.

In an advantageous development of the inventive heat exchanger plate, the first guiding surface, the second guiding surface the third guiding surfaces and the fourth guiding surfaces are straight guiding surfaces.

In an advantageous development of the inventive heat exchanger plate, the guiding section further comprises a recessed surface being parallel to the basis surface level of the heat exchanger plate, and having a pressing depth that is greater than the corrugated pattern of the heat transfer surface of the heat exchanger plate. This is advantageous in that the guiding surface can be increased, which gives a more accurate alignment of the heat exchanger plates. Another advantage of this is that the guiding surface is increased without extending the guiding surface in the transverse or the longitudinal direction. This allows for a compact guiding means.

In an advantageous development of the inventive heat exchanger plate, the guiding section further comprises a third guiding surface and a fourth surface, where the third and fourth guiding surfaces are also perpendicular to each other. This is advantageous in that the alignment of the heat exchanger plates can be further improved.

In an inventive heat exchanger, the heat exchanger comprises a plurality of heat exchanger plates according to the invention. This allows for a heat exchanger where the guiding of the heat exchanger plates is improved.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110240273 A1
Publish Date
10/06/2011
Document #
13131309
File Date
11/25/2009
USPTO Class
165168
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
28F3/00
Drawings
5


Alignment
Heat Exchanger


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